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Joe Biden volunteers, Donald Trump works on MLK Day of Service

By Clyde Hughes & Jean Lotus
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The Martin Luther King Memorial in Washington, D.C., is closed to the public on MLK Day due to heightened security ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/d90e27e5b533cf02b2ab1cdebe011438/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
The Martin Luther King Memorial in Washington, D.C., is closed to the public on MLK Day due to heightened security ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 18 (UPI) -- President-elect Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, spent Martin Luther King Jr. Day volunteering as the Presidential Inauguration Committee partnered with local, state and national organizations virtually for a National Day of Service.

The Bidens filled food boxes at Philabundance, a hunger relief organization in Philadelphia. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and husband Doug Emhoff volunteered at Martha's Table in Washington, D.C.

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"The National Day of Service is an opportunity for all Americans to unite and serve at a time when the global pandemic calls on all of us to work together and support our communities," a statement by the inauguration committee said.

The White House designated Monday as a working day for President Donald Trump.

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A daily schedule released by the White House gave no indication whether Trump will mark the federal holiday.

"President Trump will work from early in the morning until late in the evening," the schedule, issued to reporters, said. "He will make many calls and have many meetings."

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Former President Barack Obama also called for volunteering to honor King's legacy.

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"If anyone had a right to question whether our democracy was worth redeeming, it was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Because in the face of billy clubs and lynchings, poll taxes and literacy tests, he never gave in to violence, never waved a traitorous flag or gave up on our country," Obama tweeted Monday. "On #MLKDay, we celebrate his life but we're also called to live out his values through service of our own," Obama added.

In keeping with social distancing and other pandemic-safe efforts, the inaugural committee will sponsor a "United We Serve" virtual celebration to air online Monday evening. Participants include the surviving children of King -- the Rev. Dr.Bernice King and Martin Luther King III -- along with Aloe Blacc, Chesca, Rep. Sharice Davids, Rosario Dawson, Andra Day, Yo-Yo Ma, the Rev. Al Sharpton, Sean Patrick Thomas, Diane Warren, Lynn Whitfield and Bebe Winans.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., though, is closed to the public through Thursday for security reasons connected with Wednesday's inauguration.

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